The Importance of Exploring with Two-Year Olds At IDEA ELC we know that two year olds need exercise, good sleep patterns, healthy diets and opportunity for movement and exercise, which, if established early on in their family, makes sound foundations for their future wellbeing. Challenges for Parents With busy lifestyles this can appear challenging, but only requires simple adjustments, some imagination and a positive attitude. Using the garden, balcony or parks; walking instead of taking the car, making shopping trips interesting, all cost very little and are much more fun. By two years old, children are more active and steady on their feet, ready to explore and use these new found skills of walking and running or rolling and jumping to their best effect. Strengthening Little Bodies The lower body is the area that needs strengthening for two year olds, especially their knees and legs. Riding a small, three wheeled bike, climbing steps to a low slide, or dancing and moving to music provide opportunities to develop this. Having the space to run a distance is important so if it’s too hot outside, clear furniture to one side and allow your child regular time to run around. Parents, siblings and grandparents are often exhausted by two year olds who have lots of energy, are always on the move and want to explore everything. Once walking has been achieved and then running, two year olds will want to use their bodies to jump and climb, learn to pedal and steer and push wheeled toys with increasing skill and dexterity. Giving children the space to explore provides them with a canvas for their play. Motor Skills When two year olds have opportunities to exercise their new found large motor skills, they will easily acquire small motor skills such as early mark making (writing and drawing), pouring, using a knife and fork or doing puzzles, they develop the strong connections between their large and small muscles. Child Initiated Play Play that is initiated by children and is responded to by adults allows children to try a new experience. By getting involved in children’s play in this way and tuning into their ideas and their thinking, parents and grandparents are paving the way to develop sustained shared thinking, a way of tuning into where children’s thoughts and ideas are going in order to build on them and help discover what it is they need to learn. This kind of play deepens relationships, building secure, confident and happy two year olds, eager to experience new things and to learn. Cultivating a love of the exploring is important in the life of every child, no matter where they live. Would you like to find out how IDEA supports parents to know what is best for their child? Email email@example.com to arrange a meeting with our team.